By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Retired Captain Budu Koomson's anxiety over the fact that a remarkable number of Ghanaian citizens have been talking about the imminent possibility of a military putsch, or the overthrow of the Mahama government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), may be quite a bit misplaced (See "Coup d'etat Imminent in Ghana - Capt. Koomson" Daily Guide/Modernghana.com 4/5/13).
It may be misplaced because, for starters, most of the people who are coup-prone are also traditionally members of the Rawlings-minted Provisional/National Democratic Congress (P/NDC), whose hands may be as deeply mired in the unprecedented level of wanton corruption prevailing in the country. What this means is that the likely coup plotters may themselves not be any cleaner than the current P/NDC operatives that they may be looking to ousting. For, traditionally, people who support the Danquah-Dombo-Busia ideology are entrepreneurial capitalists and democrats who have absolutely no use, whatsoever, for military dictators and coup-plotters because the latter invariably do not allow for the induction and gestation of an environment conducive to the salutary socioeconomic development of the country.
Then also, Ghanaians have had enough unfortunate experience with military rule to more than fully appreciate the fact that a corrupt Ghanaian in military uniform is almost invariably worse than his civilian counterpart. Besides, the fact that military putschists tend to be only accountable to other military putschists ought to have warned Ghanaians, by now, that short of the rigid constitutional enforcement of administrative accountability on the part of civilian governments, it is decidedly a veritable jungle out there.
Furthermore, other than the six-year period of the Acheampong-led NRC/SMC I, as the immortalized Mr. William (Paa Wille) Ofori-Atta once astutely observed, the general record of military rule in the country has been rather too bleak and dismal to rekindle the imagination of freedom-loving and highly educated and politically enlightened Ghanaians. Thus rather than being reactively and unwisely on the lookout for the imminence of a military takeover, veterans like Captain Koomson ought to be deeply engrossed in a national discourse on the imperative need for Parliament to revamp the 1992 Republican Constitution in order to make it function more efficiently, such as is being currently done in Kenya, thanks largely to the yeomanly intervention and ingenious instrumentality of Ghana's former United Nations Secretary-General and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Mr. Kofi Annan.
Presently, the problem appears to be the existence of a terror-frozen judicial system whose key operatives are still traumatized and petrified by the possibility of a reprise of a Rawlings-type of Darwinian eruption that may well witness the savage massacre of the cream of the judicial system, such as apocalyptically occurred on June 30, 1982. The fact of the matter, though, is that while a remarkable percentage of the miscreants involved in the latter act of unpardonable savagery may still be around, together with new recruits, the global community has since moved well beyond the kind of territorial insularity and flagrant passivity that enabled Messrs. Rawlings and Tsikata and their Trokosi Mafia Nationalist(s) marauders to carry out their dastardly agenda.
The certain possibility of any misguided pseudo-revolutionaries ending up at the International Criminal Court (ICC), ought to be enough to wake up any benighted potential coup-plotters.
In the final analysis, however, it is the collective will of Ghanaian citizens, particularly those who have had opportunities for socioeconomic advancement callously denied them by military dictators, who ought to send a clear and unmistakable signal to any military adventurists out there that they must be prepared to pay dearly with their very lives, should they foolishly and scandalously attempt to reverse the inexorable clock of the country's socioeconomic, cultural and technological development.
*Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Department of English
Nassau Community College of SUNY
Garden City, New York
April 7, 2013